Founders Factory Africa (FFA) has partnered with Netcare run an acceleration and incubation program for healthcare startups. Both firms will provide funding and support to more than 35 healthcare startups across Africa.
Started in October 2018, Founders Factory Africa is the Africa arm of the UK’s Founders Factory. FFA wants to design, build and scale over 100 African startups over the next five years. Recently, the tech hub announced its first set of investments in Africa in May 2019. In partnership with South Africa’s Standard Bank, FFA selected five startups to join its 6-months comprehensive accelerator programme. These include Digest Africa, LipaLater, Kudigo, Allpro, and EazyHire. All five cohorts received funding between £30,000 and £100,000.
The new partnership with Netcare affords Netcare a niche approach to reach its target. Over the next few years, the FFA program will accelerate five healthtech startups a year and incubate two.
Application for the accelerator program is currently open till September 6, 2019.
Selection for the FFA’s health tech accelerator program considers startups with a Pan-African focus. Also, startups will equally have to be post revenue to be considered for the program, which means the accelerator program is more suitable for growth stage startups.
Meanwhile the FFA incubator program is open for entrepreneurs who want to build a new concept from scratch.
Both programs provide funding to healthtech startups. Startups in the accelerator program will receive funding of £30,000, as well as support services from FFA worth £220,000. Incubated ventures will receive £60,000 funding and £100,000 in support services. Startups will also benefit from Netcare’s support network, technologies and expertise in the healthcare sector.
In return, FFA and Netcare will own between 5% and 10% equity stake in each startup.
The FFA-Netcare healthcare comes has emerged at a time when African healthcare sector is gaining more startup attention. In different African countries healthtech innovators are using technology to address different problems affecting healthcare systems.
Innovators like Arone Drones have joined Zipline to develop drone technology to deliver blood and other medical supplies to remote locations. Another startup, RxAll develops mobile innovations used to identify fake drugs on the continent. Ghana’s mPharma, which provides financing and inventory management for hospitals and pharmacies, raised over $9 million in January.
“I believe healthcare is ripe for disruption and innovation”, Netcare CEO Richard Friedland told TechCrunch. “There are so many issues in terms of healthcare delivery in Africa that can benefit from technological solutions”, he added.
The FFA accelerator and incubator program is one way to address these issues.